Letter to the Minister of Environment for Protection of Land and Sea
Mr Corrado Clini
am writing on behalf of our members, Costa Smeralda Property Owners and in
agreement with the outgoing Mayor of the City of Arzachena, Professor
are writing as users of the wonderful National parkland of the La
Maddalena Archipellago, to report the recent measure by the Park
authorities which amended the Rules of the Park unduly penalizing the
residents of the neighboring towns of Arzachena and Olbia. They now impose
a total prohibition of anchorage in “our” islands located off the
Costa Smeralda coastline, which were already severely impacted by the
original Park Regulations of the May 17 1996.
firstly wish to explain that the islands of the Park of La Maddalena are
divided into two distinct groups, as shown on the map supplied by the
Park: those which gravitate around the city of La Maddalena, home to the
park, and those furthest from the Park, adjacent to the coastline of the
cities of Olbia-Arzachena.
at the map of the Park, you will note that almost all the areas shaded in
red lie off the Costa Smeralda, an obvious discrimination against the City
of Arzachena and Olbia, affecting particularly the Costa Smeralda, with
its tourism industry of national importance.
All the red zones of total prohibition are near Costa Smeralda
I already reported to this Ministry in 2001 (see
letter Appendix A), the original draft of the Park disproportionately
harmed the islands in the City of Arzachena with 89% of total bans on the
approach and anchorage at these islands.Now the park has recently decreed
a total ban on all the islands that face the Costa Smeralda coastline in
Arzachena, bringing the prohibition rate close to 100% of total bans
relegated entirely to the waters of the Costa Smeralda.
purpose of the managers of the park was most likely to require all vessels
to visit only the islands close to La Maddalena, more for political
reasons that for ecological ones, disregarding the principles for which
Marine Parks are established. Given the particular value of the main
islands dell’Archipellago, Budelli-Spargi-Santa Maria, it would have
been more appropriate to impose many more restrictions in this area to be
preserve, rather than crowding all the boats here.
can reasonably be suspected that the policy behind this crowding of boats
in the La Maddalena area, has been done to financially benefit only that
City and its local companies for the bulk transport of passengers of day
trippers to the islands. In addition to economic damage to the City of
Arzachena, we report a severe environmental damage caused by this
unreasonable and excessive regulation which obliges the hundreds if not
thousands of boats in the marinas of the Costa Smeralda to travel every
day all the way to the La Maddalena islands.
fact, we see each morning in summer thousands of yachts, primarily large
motor boats with enormous engines, coming out from the marinas of Porto
Cervo, Porto Rotondo and Portisco, of which a good part anchor at the few
nearby beaches of the mainland already overcrowded by the public arriving
by car, where they stop to swim in the sea, instead of spreading out
amongst the nearby islands of Mortorio and Soffi. In fact because of the
huge presence of the public on the beaches and of the many boats at
anchor, the water along the shore is not as clear as it once was and as it
should continue to be.
other greater part of these Costa Smeralda yachts will roar off at full
speed with their powerful engines towards the distant islands of
Budelli-Spargi-Santa Maria at La Maddalena, where the anchoring is
obviously permitted. This great consumption of fuel, with its pollution of
the air and water and with much accustic pollution, all caused by total
prohibition of approach and anchorage at the nearby Costa Smeralda islands
of Arzachena and Olbia.
examine the distances involved:
Porto Cervo - Budelli
Porto Rotondo - Budelli
Porto Rotondo - Mortorio
Porto Cervo - Bisce
Porto Cervo – Caprera
let’s see the consequences:
the average motor yacht of 20 meters in length, which consumes about 400
liters of fuel per hour and takes an hour to get from Porto Rotondo to
Budelli traveling at 22 knots, and therefore consumes a total of 800
liters per day just to go to swim at Budelli. And there are hundreds of
these mega-yachts obligated to travel so many miles every day, when there
are a group of islands (Mortorio-Soffi-Nibani-Bisce) there in front at
just 3 miles distance.
tourist operators in the area are rightly concerned that these
prohibitions have a negative influence on the local economy, risking to
send this rich nautical tourism to other shores in other countries. The
larger yachts have no difficulty in traveling the length and breadth of
the Mediterranean, where they can find other situations just as
attractive, where they can holiday, where the anchoring constraints are
much more reasonable.
aware of the importance of preserving the environment, of which we of
APICS are all convinced, which is why we have chosen the Costa Smeralda
for the purchase of our homes where the environment is well protected, we
believe that we should be allowed to enjoy
“our” islands, nevertheless with all the necessary protective
environment regulations, the observance of which we want to be rigidly and
The outer area originally banned, now extended to the whole island
Regarding the island of Mortorio, the original rules allowed it to be approached and forbade anchoring only in the outer part, as seen from the following photo, but now it is totally forbidden, all the way round, 360 °. At least the inner part should be returned to the enjoyment of the general community.
for Li Nibani which needs to be kept intact for the restocking of game;
however we note that these islets are constantly subject to waves created
by the frequent passage of motorboats, and so are very uncomfortable for
those who remain at anchor and are thus generally avoided. Permitting the
anchorage or rather, the mooring at buoy for a few boats, would not cause
any damage to the wildlife for the very small influx of boats that would
occasionally stop here. See the Google satellite photo of August 4, 2010,
where you can see the complex intersection of waves around the islands and
only one sailboat at anchor. In order to relieve the pressure of boats
elsewhere, we suggest that also these islets be equipped with some mooring
taken to protect beaches in Turkey
We wish to mention the techniques developed by the Turkish authorities, who can teach us how the public can actually make use of special natural reserves, without causing any environmental damage, according to proven practices (see Annex B). Their particularly sensitive beaches are fenced off and the public is allowed access, subject to strict rules for entering and exiting from the water, with obligatory showers etc, careful not to take away even a single grain of sand.
Cleopatra beach in Turkey manned by guards with mandatory shower for
the public access
could adopt these precautions for example at the Spiaggia Rosa of Budelli
and allow public access, rather than depriving the community of an
invaluable asset, a tourist resource and opportunity, in our opinion which
is unreasonably wasted.
hereby ask for your authoritative intervention to bring your managers of
the Park to a more reasonable management of our tourism resources,
represented by the islands of La Maddalena and in particular those of
Arzachena, heritage of the local community and part of its economic
nautical and tourist industry.
- We recommend to install mooring buoys along the inner shores of the
islands of Mortorio, Soffi, le Camere, Bisce, and also Li Nibani and
Caprera and permit the mooring of boats, as indeed permitted to the
islands around the town of La Maddalena.
- We recommend the imposition of speed limits between inshore islands,
particularly aimed at the large motor yachts, in order to limit pollution
and the sea, air and noise pollution, and also to ensure a greater safety
- We suggest to open public access to the Spiaggia Rosa beach at Budelli,
adopting those measures mentioned above, that ensure a total environmental